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Smitty the Jumper

 

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tonybrogdon  (D 12855)

Aug 5, 2003, 12:03 AM
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Smitty the Jumper Can't Post

I would like to pay tribute to one of the true pioneers of our sport, Smitty the Jumper. Smitty was from Witchita, Kanas. He made his first jump in 1922 at the age of 36 with a parachute he made himself out of silk and had a horse harness maker make his harness. Smitty made about a dozen jumps with his orginal rig before he saw another parachute of any kind. I had the previdge of meeting Smitty at Hutchinson, Kansas when I made my first jump in September of 1977. I brought Smitty to Perris Valley Skydiving Center December 15th, 1985 where he made a tandem jump joined by the Mirror Image World Champion 8 way team sponsored by Coors beer. He brought along his orginal rig to show all those that were interested. He died a year after his last jump at the Oskosh Air Show at the age of 93. Smitty was a truly remarkable person and pioneer skydiver.


Premier Tonto  (D 515)
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Aug 5, 2003, 12:56 AM
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Re: [tonybrogdon] Smitty the Jumper [In reply to] Can't Post

I heard a bunch about him when jumping in El Dorado, Kansas in the early 90's. Do you know what year he died?

t


DYEVOUT  (Student)

Aug 5, 2003, 4:24 AM
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Re: [Tonto] Smitty the Jumper [In reply to] Can't Post

If he was 36 in 1922, and died at 93 - I'm gonna say 1979.


Premier Tonto  (D 515)
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Aug 5, 2003, 4:44 AM
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Re: [DYEVOUT] Smitty the Jumper [In reply to] Can't Post

"Perris Valley Skydiving Center December 15th, 1985 where he made a tandem jump joined by the Mirror Image World Champion 8 way team "

Wow. And he died in 1979. That's hard core. No wonder he's a legend.

t


DYEVOUT  (Student)

Aug 5, 2003, 4:48 AM
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Re: [Tonto] Smitty the Jumper [In reply to] Can't Post

Yep, I would definitely say there are some inaccurate dates in that post. Smile


tonybrogdon  (D 12855)

Aug 5, 2003, 6:03 PM
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Re: [DYEVOUT] Smitty the Jumper [In reply to] Can't Post

Smitty was 87 when I brought to Perris 1985. He died at age 93 in the year 1991 in his trailer in Witchita he called his "wall of fame" in his sleep. He was a wonderful person. Hope this helps.


DYEVOUT  (Student)

Aug 6, 2003, 3:10 AM
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Re: [tonybrogdon] Smitty the Jumper [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
He made his first jump in 1922 at the age of 36. . . . .

That makes him 24 years old in 1922. Just a little confusing, that's all. Smile


airtwardo  (D License)

Aug 8, 2003, 12:42 PM
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Re: [tonybrogdon] Smitty the Jumper [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Smitty was 87 when I brought to Perris 1985. He died at age 93 in the year 1991 in his trailer in Witchita he called his "wall of fame" in his sleep. He was a wonderful person. Hope this helps.
Hi there Tony!

Smitty was a corner stone at the EAA Oshkosh convention for many years...

As a performer there, we take a ' Clap-Lap ' down the showline in a convertible following our performance.

We always loaded "Smitty" up in the car and took him down the line with us...
He would keep us all in stitches with his stories and comments...

We would be rolling down the crowd line of 100,000 or so people...
and Smitty would point off into the crowd and yell...

" HI MOM! "

Everyone in the area would be looking around to see who this old guy was pointing AT!


nutinbutdust  (D 12055)

Aug 8, 2003, 2:22 PM
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Re: [tonybrogdon] Smitty the Jumper [In reply to] Can't Post

Smitty used to come up to Albert Lea in the late 80's to Grampas jumpfest. I think he used to ride with Jeff Bodinger(from El Dorado). He also used to always be hanging out at the nationals in Muskogee. He was a very funny man with loads of wonderful stories about the things he had done. I always enjoyed spending time with him. If I remember correctly Jeff took him on a tandem at Jumpfest one year.

Al


Premier Tonto  (D 515)
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Aug 12, 2003, 1:47 AM
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Re: [nutinbutdust] Smitty the Jumper [In reply to] Can't Post

You're correct... Jeff Boddiger ran Skydive El Dorado. I learned about Smitty from him, but never got to meet him as I was only there in 1992. Sounds like an inspiration to us all. Hope I'm still skydiving at that age!

t


lfhower  (C 5835)

Aug 12, 2003, 8:51 AM
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Re: [tonybrogdon] Smitty the Jumper [In reply to] Can't Post

I met Smitty at Woody Underwood's DZ at Maize Ks (near Wichita) in I think 69. He made his last solo jump (I think) the weekend I was there. He had his old rig with him for all to peruse. What a deal that was. All the lines were tied to an old Ford steering wheel. He was an amazing guy. A true pioneer, and could still party hard at the end of the day. I sure was glad to meet him.


tonybrogdon  (D 12855)

Aug 12, 2003, 1:53 PM
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Re: [airtwardo] Smitty the Jumper [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Jim;

Thanks for your reply. I just thought it wouldn't be right to talk about the history of our sport without honoring our mutual friend, Smitty.

Blue skies!


airtwardo  (D License)

Aug 21, 2003, 11:40 PM
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Re: [tonybrogdon] Smitty the Jumper [In reply to] Can't Post

Knew I had some PICS of Smitty !Wink
Attachments: smity1.jpg (26.1 KB)
  smity2.jpg (22.8 KB)
  smity3.jpg (27.3 KB)


tonybrogdon  (D 12855)

Aug 22, 2003, 7:11 AM
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Re: [airtwardo] Smitty the Jumper [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks Jim for the PICS of Smitty.

Blue Skies!


RonD1120  (D 1120)

Aug 22, 2003, 6:21 PM
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Re: [airtwardo] Smitty the Jumper [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Knew I had some PICS of Smitty !Wink

I have one of Smitty's business cards.
Attachments: Smitty the Jumper BCardsm.jpg (22.0 KB)


airtwardo  (D License)

Aug 22, 2003, 9:25 PM
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Re: [RonD1120] Smitty the Jumper [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Knew I had some PICS of Smitty !Wink

I have one of Smitty's business cards.

Quote:
Hey!
Long time brother!! Cool
How have you been?


RonD1120  (D 1120)

Aug 23, 2003, 5:00 AM
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Re: [airtwardo] Smitty the Jumper [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Hey!
Long time brother!! Cool
How have you been?

Unemployed but doing well. In the process of pursuing grant $$$ for a faith-based initiative outreach to single fathers.
How was Oshkosh this year?
<><


(This post was edited by RonD1120 on Aug 23, 2003, 5:05 AM)


tonybrogdon  (D 12855)

Aug 25, 2003, 3:56 PM
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Re: [RonD1120] Smitty the Jumper [In reply to] Can't Post

Jim, found these pictures of Smitty, hope they are readable. They are black and white. One has Smittys own words on it. His son Jerry, whom i became good friends with once told me that he grew up with his mother telling him that his dad was crazy.

Hope you enjoy the PICS

Tony


(This post was edited by tonybrogdon on Aug 25, 2003, 4:04 PM)
Attachments: Smitty 1.jpg (10.1 KB)
  Smiity n Johhny Carson.jpg (9.91 KB)
  Smitty n Me.jpg (10.6 KB)
  Smittys own words.JPG (44.1 KB)


airtwardo  (D License)

Aug 27, 2003, 10:07 AM
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Re: [RonD1120] Smitty the Jumper [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
How was Oshkosh this year?

Quote:
Fun!
Got weathered a couple of times, but a great time!
This was our 20th year opening there!

I did a few candycanes on your old canopy!
CoolWink


RonD1120  (D 1120)

Aug 29, 2003, 12:21 PM
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Re: [airtwardo] Smitty the Jumper [In reply to] Can't Post

I did a few candycanes on your old canopy!
CoolWink
I believe that was SN006. I still have her older sister, SN002. Who knows she may fly again.Wink


airtwardo  (D License)

Sep 1, 2003, 9:47 PM
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Re: [tonybrogdon] Smitty the Jumper [In reply to] Can't Post

Found another one...

from the real early 80's Wink
Attachments: smitty1a.jpg (48.9 KB)


RonD1120  (D 1120)

Sep 2, 2003, 3:31 AM
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Re: [airtwardo] Smitty the Jumper [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Found another one...

from the real early 80's Wink

WOWShocked JT with brown hair. Laugh I almost didn't recognize him.


airtwardo  (D License)

Sep 2, 2003, 4:40 AM
Post #23 of 52 (14453 views)
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Re: [RonD1120] Smitty the Jumper [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Found another one...

from the real early 80's Wink

WOWShocked JT with brown hair. Laugh I almost didn't recognize him.
Quote:
I said it was an OLD picture!!!WinkWinkWink


indigoSkye  (D License)

Sep 4, 2003, 4:32 PM
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Re: [airtwardo] Smitty the Jumper [In reply to] Can't Post

Smitty was living and well at Oshkosh, 1986.


tbrown  (D 6533)

Sep 21, 2003, 10:02 PM
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Re: [tonybrogdon] Smitty the Jumper [In reply to] Can't Post

 I brought Smitty to Perris Valley Skydiving Center December 15th, 1985 where he made a tandem jump joined by the Mirror Image World Champion 8 way team sponsored by Coors beer.
The Coors team was formerly known as Visions before they got the sponsorship. Visions/Coors was the world champion 8 way team at the 1985 meet in Yugoslavia. Visions had also won the 1983 world meet in South Africa, but all of the other heavyweight contenders like France, the Soviets, and China had stayed away because of the apartheid regime, so the "competition" was mostly a bunch of cream puff teams. At the Yugoslavia meet Coors won the old fashioned way, by beating the real competitors. Mirror Image was still around in '85, but had not been to a world championship since their win at Z-Hills in '81.

Intereestingly enough, getting back to the 1983 So. African meet, FAI sanctioned a "protest" meet with Worl Cup status at Abbotsford, BC, Canada in '83. Mirror Image did represent the US at the Abbotsford Cup meet, where I think they finished second behind the French (?). Also the U.S. Army 4 way team won the Nationals that year, but were not permitted to go to So. Africa, but went to the Abbotsford meet and I don't remember whether they won or placed. With the Army not going to So. Africa, one of the Visions 4 way teams, either "Fire" or "Ice", which had finished second at the Nationals, went as the US 4 way team.

Sorry, this wasn't meant to detract from the Smitty story, but the confusion about Mirror Image and Coors stirred up some memories about some interesting times for two really great teams.


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